SOCMA Intervenes in Inventory Reset Rule on Behalf of EPA

SOCMA has intervened in a second lawsuit on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This time the focus is on the Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Requirements, or more commonly known as the Inventory Reset Rule.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) filed a petition against EPA in the DC Circuit challenging the Inventory Reset rule. EDF is also engaged in litigation on Risk Evaluation and Prioritization.

As a brief recap, TSCA modernization has been a top priority for SOCMA and its members for more than 10 years. Last year the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA) finally passed and pushed TSCA to the regulatory world. The next step appears to be a battle in the courts.

The purpose of the TSCA Inventory Reset Rule is to establish procedures EPA will use to evaluate the existing inventory of chemical substances to determine which are currently active in U.S. commerce. Chemicals determined to be “active” will be subject to prioritization and potential risk evaluation procedures. The rule also requires that any claim of confidentiality of an active substance be reasserted and substantiated.

SOCMA and its members were very satisfied with the final Inventory Reset Rule published by EPA. The rule has proper procedures for determining what chemicals are on the reset TSCA Inventory and active in U.S. commerce. The rule also provides critical measures for protecting confidential business information, which has serious commercial import to SOCMA members. 

There are a number of possible outcomes from the lawsuits. The court can decide that EPA is within its jurisdiction and rule in the agency’s favor. The court can strike down the rule entirely and command EPA to engage in a new rulemaking. Or, the court can strike down specific parts of the rule.

SOCMA, the American Chemistry Council, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have collectively engaged counsel and formed a steering committee to guide industry’s intervention in this suit. The coalition will work in defense of the final Inventory Reset Rule and in support of EPA. 

For more information on the final Inventory Reset Rule:

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